There was a protest today at the Westside Mall U.S. Army Recruiting Station. Army and overall military recruiting numbers are up recently in the wake of the Bush Administration. There are likely several factors in the increased rates of enlistments, including what is commonly referred to as a "poverty draft." A poverty draft results when people don't have other options than the military. The military is hiring. When people can't find work elsewhere, and especially when there are hungry mouths, the military can easily capitalize on this.
There are all sorts of stories recently, ranging from the military enlisting felons and people who openly advocate white supremacy.
There are a lot of important stories to tell. But for now, I am just going to share some photos from today's protest. I hope you enjoy.
Travis Bishop and Leo Church are being detained in the Fort Lewis brig.
Meet at Coffee Strong at 3PM
15109 Union Ave SW, Lakewood, Washington
Carpool from Olympia: meet at the Artesian Well Downtown at 2 PM
Background information from GI VOICE:
Fort Lewis, Washington, October 9, 2009 – Veterans’ groups are reacting with alarm to reports that two Army soldiers imprisoned in the Fort Lewis Regional Correctional Facility (RCF) have been subjected to human rights abuses. Travis Bishop (recognized by Amnesty International as a “Prisoner of Conscience”) resisted deployment to Afghanistan, and Leo Church left his unit to prevent his family from going homeless. Their civilian defense attorney James M. Branum reports that they have been strip-searched while being possibly filmed. Bishop and Church have also been watched by female guards during strip searches, while using the restroom and in the showers. The prisoners were denied one in-person visit by counsel and all phone calls with their attorneys have been illegally monitored by guards. G.I. Voice and other veteran-led groups are holding a press conference with Branum and other spokespeople, on Tuesday at 10:00 am in the East Room of the Marriott Renaissance Hotel Seattle (515 Madison).
Great news! Hopefully Lt. Watada will also receive the honorable discharge that he so very much deserves.
Refuse Illegal War!
Thanks to Anthony Gargiulo for sharing these great photos from the November 2007 Port Protests.
IRAQ VETERANS PLAN MAY 9 FORT LEWIS RALLY AGAINST STOP-LOSS POLICY
For immediate release -- Please spread the word!
Contacts: Seth Manzel firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew VanDenBergh email@example.com
Iraq veterans plan to lead a rally at the gates of Fort Lewis on Saturday, May 9, to oppose the Pentagon’s policy of Stop-Loss, or recalling soldiers for repeated deployments to foreign wars. Fort Lewis, the largest Army base on the West Coast, will be deploying three infantry brigades to Iraq and Afghanistan over the next four months. Some of the 10,000 soldiers were previously deployed, but have been involuntarily stop-lossed. Veterans in the GI Voice organization, and GI rights supporters will meet at 12:00 noon at Coffee Strong (15109 Union Ave SW in Lakewood), and walk to Freedom Bridge at I-5 Exit 122. For information, see http://www.GIVoice.org or call (253) 581-1565.
Seth Manzel, a Stryker Brigade veteran and director of GI Voice, said that “we will assemble with soldier’s families and community groups to rally against the systematic mistreatment of soldiers by the Pentagon, which maintains Stop-Loss as a backdoor draft.” GI Voice opened Coffee Strong in November, as a safe place for soldiers, veterans and their families to socialize, discuss, and access information about GI rights. The event will conclude with music and a fire dance performance at Coffee Strong, located next to the Subway franchise near the Madigan gate at Exit 122. The event will be joined by members of the national group Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW).
via Coffee Strong email update:
Tonight (Thursday, February 26, 2009) Andrew Wright will be speaking on KAOS at 8:30pm Pacific time.
Please visit kaos.evergreen.edu and listen in!
IVAW (Iraq Veterans against the War) Fort Lewis chapter has opened a coffee house. The Coffeehouse will help with outreach to active duty military personnel. It will serve to provide useful information and help to G.I.s who have questions about deployment.
I had a mean cup of coffee when I was there. It was strong and good.